The O'Casey Cycle

Irish Repertory Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with The Sean O'Casey Season

The O'Casey Cycle consists of The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, and The Plough and the Stars in repertory from January 31 to May 25, 2019.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Irish Repertory Theatre has announced The Sean O'Casey Season in celebration of the company's 30th Anniversary. Three of the Irish playwright's most famous plays will be presented during The O'Casey Cycle from January 31 through to May 25, 2019 on Irish Rep's Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage.

Each play will be presented in an individual run in the order in which they were written, culminating in a month of all three works in repertory. These plays include The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926).

The Shadow of the Gunman will be helmed by Irish Rep Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and is set to begin previews on January 31, 2019, ahead of an official opening on February 12.

Synopsis: "It's 1921, and the Irish War of Independence rages on the streets of Dublin as Irish revolutionaries clash with British auxiliary forces. Aspiring poet Donal Davoren tries to avoid the conflict, but when Donal learns of a rumor that he is a gunman on the run, he cannot resist the curiosity it stirs in beautiful young Minnie Powers...and he cannot escape the attention of his other neighbors. As the rumor grows, the war outside moves closer to home with tragic consequences."

Juno and the Paycock will be helmed by Artistic Director of Atlantic Theater Company Neil Pepe and is scheduled to begin previews on March 9, 2019, officially opening on March 19.

Synopsis: "Jack Boyle is out of work and determined to stay that way. He postures and drinks with his sidekick Joxer while his long-suffering wife Juno struggles to support their family and maintain their dilapidated tenement flat. Their son Johnny, crippled fighting in the revolution, cowers indoors to avoid the bitter new civil war, while his sister Mary considers her options for the future. When a handsome visitor arrives with news of an inheritance, the family begins to plan their new life, but their apparent salvation soon reveals itself to be the cause of their ruin. One of the great plays of the twentieth century, Juno and the Paycock offers a devastating portrait of wasted potential in a Dublin torn apart by the chaos of the Irish Civil War."

Finally, The Plough and the Stars, helmed by Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, will begin previews on April 20, 2019, before an official opening on April 30.

Synopsis: "Pretty young newlywed Nora Clitheroe is the talk of her tenement as she tirelessly works to lift her family out of their impoverished circumstances. She tries to keep her husband Jack from the revolutionary fervor sweeping through Dublin. But Jack becomes a Commandant in the Irish Citizen Army, and when the Easter Rising of 1916 begins, he leaves a pregnant Nora to help lead the fight. The disparate, quarrelsome tenement residents are forced to shelter together as urban warfare makes their home nearly as treacherous as the streets. Passions and ideals rise and converge, but in the end, loss and devastation triumph over the promise of a new Ireland."

The creative team for The O'Casey Cycle features scenic design by Charlie Corcoran, costume design by Linda Fisher & David Toser, lighting design by Michael Gottlieb, sound design by Ryan Rumery & M. Florian Staab, and props by Deirdre Brennan.

Irish Repertory Theatre is also planning symposiums, lectures, film screenings, a musical evening, and two exhibitions, in celebration of the esteemed playwright.

Casting for The O'Casey Cycle will be announced shortly.


Originally published on

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